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A personal computer consists of many “Components” which are listed below :-

A Case = This contains all of the components to make the PC work correctly.

PSU ( Power Supply Unit ) this is located inside the case and supplies power to all of the Components. Measured in Watts, the general requirement at the moment (2010) is about 400-500w, for a standard PC setup.

Motherboard = this a is a very sophisticated Printed Circuit Board that the Core components of the computer are plugged into.

Core components :-

RAM ( Random Access Memory ) temporarily stores information for your Software programs while your use them in windows, which allows your programs to run much quicker.

CPU ( Central Processing Unit ) this run’s all the calculations in order for your PC to operate. They are manufactured by  Intel and AMD.

GPU ( Graphic Processing Unit ) this can either be as a chip located on the Motherboard or
as a PCI Card that plug’s into the motherboard giving far more performance than an onboard chip can. And there are 2 main manufacturers of them called Ati and Nvidia

SoundCard = This is usually built into the Motherboard and provides adequate sound for normal use, however if you enjoy Music / Movies and Gaming, you may want to buy a PCI Soundcard that again plugs into the Motherboard, to give enhanced performance.

HDD (High Density Disk) these are 3.5” in size for a Desktop computer, and are physical Hard cases that hold metal disks inside on platters, which spin at fast speeds 5200rpm / 7200rpm generally, and are used for installing your OS ( Operating System ) e.g. Windows XP / Vista / 7 into. And also holds all of your software programs, e.g. Microsoft Office, Games, and all of your photo’s and music etc.

DVDRW ( Re-writable ) Drive = This is to play DVD’s but also to Burn/write Data ( information ) to, so that you can store and transfer information easily. And is fitted into the front of the computer Case.

In addition to the Core system you then need Peripheral’s e.g. keyboard and mouse, speakers. And most importantly  a good LCD Monitor which range from 15” to 19” in size for general use, but to go up to 24”+ for people who use Design software etc a lot.

These are the pure basics that a computer needs to be usable. But more addition’s are available e.g. Printer, Desktop Scanner, TV Card, Memory card reader,